26 October 2012

Tangy Herbed Beans

I've been seeking a quick way to freshen up cans o' beans. My pantry overflows each week with cans o' beans, and I find myself occasionally—okay, often—bored at the thought of MORE BEANS. And worse, I don't really like beans cooked in pressure cookers or slow cookers because they don't allow me enough control over the tenderness. So I'm stuck with home-boiled beans or salty canned beans (or those Eden-brand canned beans preserved with seaweed, which taste odd in loads of recipes!).

I am still sad that Western cooks haven't jumped onto the idea of sweet bean treats, which in Japan was my absolute favorite way to eat both beans and desserts.

Luckily, I read a Vegetarian Times recipe for Southern California tacos invented by the winner of some show called The Cupcake Wars of all things (!), and then I read the amazon.com reviews of her recent cookbook, which commented that the chef asked for unnecessary amounts of oil. Keeping this plus the chef's obvious love for sweet desserts in mind, I pared down the recipe to about a fourth of its size and removed the oil, halved the sweetness, laughed at the request for cactus juice, and ignored the call for mushrooms once I realized that my box of mushrooms was hosting a fuzzy white fungus too. The result? A super quick, easy, fat-free, gluten-free (deep breath) delicious, tangy take on canned beans that I can't wait to make again.

If you are one of those people with the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, this recipe is not for you. Although…would you enjoy cilantro bubble bath? Just curious!

Tangy Herbed Beans

1 15 ounce can of either black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 Cup of cilantro, washed
1/2 Cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, washed
1/4 Cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon honey
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
a few good grinds of black pepper

  1. Add all ingredients except for the beans to a blender or food processor until the herbs are in tiny tiny bits. 
  2. Heat a fry pan. Add the beans and half of the blender sauce. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes until heated through, less wet, and the flavors have slightly muted.
  3. Serve beans warm with extra sauce (all of it, if you dare!) spooned on top. Yum diddle dee dum!

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